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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 52

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 52

Q. What is the sixth petition?
A. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” That is: since we are so weak that we cannot stand by ourselves for one moment, and besides, since our sworn enemies, the devil, the world, and our own sin, ceaselessly assail us, be pleased to preserve and strengthen us through the power of your Holy Spirit so that we may stand firm against them, and not be defeated in this spiritual warfare, until at last we obtain complete victory.

Q. How do you close this prayer?
A. “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.” That is: we ask all this of you because, as our King, you are willing and able to give us all that is good since you have power over all things, and that by this not we ourselves but your holy name may be glorified forever.

Q. What is the meaning of the little word “Amen”?
A. Amen means: this shall truly and certainly be. For my prayer is much more certainly heard by God than I am persuaded in my heart that I desire such things from him.

Thanks for following along for another year.
Maybe something a bit different next year.

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The Danger Of Zebra Crossings (via Today I Found Out)

I’ve always wondered why Mount Gambier has no zebra-striped pedestrian crossings.
This infographic from Today I Found Out suggests that their absence is doing us a favour.
Turns out people are more likely to be hit by cars at a crossing than by making their way across at other places.


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The End Of Religion (preparing for MGPC 28/12/2014)

Songs of preparation: What A Friend We Have In Jesus; From the highest of heights / Indescribable; and Hallelujah! Praise the LORD’s Name (Psalm 148)
Prayer of adoration and confession: praying that the light that has come to the world in the person of Jesus would continue to shine in us, we approach God whose faithful love has dispelled the darkness that would otherwise overwhelm us.
Song of assurance, confession of faith, doxology: From heaven you came / The Servant King, the Apostles’ Creed, Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.
Continuous reading: Revelation 9:1-21
Scripture in song: Seek Ye First The Kingdom Of God.
Sermon reading: Galatians 3:23-4:7
In Galatians 4:4-7 we see how the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ effected the end of religion, and how God’s people now live religion free lives.
Pastoral prayer, tithes and offerings,
Worship concludes singing O God Our Help In Ages Past.

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All I Ever Get For Christmas Is Blue by Over The Rhine

There are some of you enduring the Christmas blues.
Here’s one for you, from Over The Rhine.

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It’s A Wonderful Cat’s Life

Last night at the suggestion of youngest daughter we watched It’s A Wonderful Life.
Eldest daughter felt it took to long to get to the good parts and left. (It had been a long day)
This version featuring cats lasts less than two minutes and features all the best parts.
Including an unexpected bonus ending.

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Joy To The World – Christmas Songs 2014 Day 25

What a thrill to conclude our Christmas service at MGPC today singing Joy To The World.
I love preaching on Christmas Day.
It’s a time to take the 200 proof grace off the shelf and give everyone a big undiluted swig.
And then another one. And another.
That’s not to say it’s watered down grace any other time, but the plainer and purer the better to cut through the sentimentality of the Christmas season.
I tell my kids some year I’ll take Christmas off.
They laugh at me.
The lyrics:
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her king;
let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.
Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let all their songs employ,
while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
he comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness
and wonders of his love,
and wonders of his love,
and wonders, wonders of his love.

Here are The Priests.

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A Couple Of Christmas Thoughts

Merry Christmas.
This morning at MGPC, among everything else, I threw these two thoughts out as part of the sermon.
Firstly, that while people may contend that the spirit of Christmas is about giving, the real heart of Christmas is about getting. The incarnation of God in the person of the Lord Jesus and his saving us is something God gives and we receive. For us, the true heart of Christmas is getting. We only give as an echo of God’s love.
Secondly, Christmas can be a very long list of things to be done, a list that can stretch all the way back to a year or months before. But there’s also that moment, where late on Christmas night you recline in your La-Z-Boy and relax and think ‘It’s all done, it’s over’, and relax in satisfaction. Christianity is not the long list of things to be done, a never-ending quest to get things perfect. It’s an ongoing experience of that moment of realising it’s all been done; and for the Christian it’s the realisation that God has done it all, not you.

So, Merry Christmas, and tonight, whenever that moment of complete rest and the feeling of ‘It’s all done’ strikes you, hang on to and savour the feeling as a reminder of the spiritual peace that is ours because of what Christ has accomplished for us.
And when you savour that feeling, give thanks to God.